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People-Trackers in China August 13, 2007

Posted by Tony S in Security, World.
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Surveillance Camera Mounted on Building

Beginning this month, people in Shen Zhen will have to carry “resident cards” around for security purposes. These resident cards can identify information about each individual and report that information to police headquarters. Furthermore, over 20,000 police surveillance cameras were deployed in public areas recently, to track criminal activity and identify criminals in the large crowds of Shen Zhen, city of over 12.7 million people.

Citizens carrying the resident cards would be identified by their saved information on the embedded computer chips inside the cards. The personal information about them include their address, work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, and even their reproductive history (in an attempt to enforce China’s “one child” policy to reduce its overpopulation problem).

Surveillance cameras were also recently implemented, in public areas, for security reasons. With these cameras, the Chinese government hopes to reduce the crime rate in these crowded cities, ensuring a better future for China. Although the idea of using security cameras to catch criminals has been tried before in other countries, China is one of the first to arrange such massive, large-scale plans. Shen Zhen already has over 180,000 closed-circuit cameras in operation both indoors and outdoors, and each new day brings forth more cameras, set up in all places imaginable; from street corners to lamp posts, from billboards to taxi-tops. In short, the city of Shen Zhen is one of the first cities that China is working on; a demonstration to the world of what technology can help with in the community.

With resident cards and surveillance cameras in operation in the city of Shen Zhen, China, the Chinese government is hoping to use this as an example to show other countries that technology can aid in catching criminals, and other security issues that plague the world today. May this serve as a reminder that our technology is the key that can potentially turn the lock and rid us of tomorrow’s problems. Comments would be appreciated; please take time to discuss your views on this article, thanks!

Via [NY Times]

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